Sound the Octo-alert! An oil spill has occurred down at Hermit Reef.
Octonauts! To the HQ!
If you haven’t yet heard of the Octonauts, it is a wonderful show that teaches kids about the different creatures of the ocean. They live down in it in an octopod and an alarm sounds off whenever a sea creature is in need of help. At the end of the show they sing a song about all the facts they’ve learned about the creature they’ve helped.
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The idea of this setup is that there has been an oil spill and all of the creatures affected have been put on the side to be cleaned up and reintroduced back home. While the Octonauts are helping the sea creatures get cleaned off, the Vegimals are helping to get their home cleaned up and ready for their return!
For this setup, my main base materials:
– Black Tuff Spot Tray
– Cement Mixing Bin / Tray: (Found at your local hardware store)
Accessories used in the oil bin and soap bin:
– White PVC Placemats: (Used as contrast to the black cement bin.)
– Shaving Cream (Sensitive or unscented preferred, for kids with allergies or skin sensitivities.)
– Soft Kitchen Sponge Brushes (Similar to linked)
– Soap Concentrate (Castile, Dish, Shampoo, Bodywash, etc.) (Sensitive or unscented preferred, for kids with allergies or skin sensitivities.)
Accessories used in the Tuff Spot tray:
– White PVC Shower Curtain* (Cut to fit the tuff tray.) *Note: Use heavy items to hold it down. It will want to float when the tray is filled with water.
– Multi color glass pebbles* (Similar to linked) *Note: Double check for broken pieces before adding to bin!)
– Aquarium Acrylic Rock (vase filler) (Similar to linked)
– Miscellaneous Aquarium Accessories (On Amazon or at your local pet store.)
To make the “oil”, I simply mixed shaving cream with drops of black food coloring. It was interesting to see how it actually got darker as it sat after being mixed. Note: You WILL get your hands stained when touching the “oil” so if you’d prefer to keep the kids’ hands stain-free, have an adult wipe most of the “oil” off the sea creature as you can and then transfer it to the soap bin before letting the children wash them clean. We found it wasn’t too much of a big deal. Most of the stains came off with a good hand washing and the rest came off within a few hours.
When all of the “oil” has been washed off the sea creature, transfer them to the water rinsing bin where the Octonauts are ready to help! When the children are done with rinsing and playing with the Octonauts and sea creatures there, simply reintroduce the sea creatures into their newly cleaned home in the tuff tray, where the Octonauts Vegimals are waiting to greet them!
The educational value and benefits for this activity include but are not limited to:
– Learning about sea creatures, their natural environments, and how accidents like oil spills affect them. (There is a LOT that you can add in or talk about as you go through the activity!)
– Developing and expanding compassion
– Fine motor development (gently holding and washing the creatures)
– Teamwork and communication
– Academic learning of the sea creatures themselves, how oil spills occur, etc…
Pairing this activity up with an episode of The Octonauts before or after, perhaps along with some ocean themed snacks really make for a greater experience!
My kids had a blast. Of course, they were so excited to get to the last part that they needed a few reminders of what part we were doing, but became engrossed after that refocus. When we’d move on to the next part, they actually became more excited to get the sea creatures home! More time was spent in the rinsing bin, and then the tuff spot “home” because that’s where all the free play was. I think this was one of their favorites that we’ve done because they kept asking to do it again the next day! 🙂
At the time of this activity, my Octo-crew: Miss K and Mr. O, were 5 and 3.
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT:
(NOT SHOWN) Ocean Size Sort: Small, Medium and Large // Liz’s Early Learning Spot
Odd and Even Number Fishing // Adventures of Adam
Ocean Animal Beginning Sound Clip Cards // The Letters of Literacy
Ocean Counting Mats // Mom Inspired Life
Ocean Felt Busy Box // Teach Me Mommy
Free Ocean Flip Books for All Ages // Simple Learning Kids
Shark Roll and Cover Game // Playdough to Plato
Octonauts Hermit Reef Oil Spill // Tuff Spot Play
Write and Wipe Addition Cards // The STEM Laboratory
DIY Ocean Counting Clip Cards // Life Over Cs
Color Word Clip Cards // The Simplified Classroom
Ocean Sensory Bottle // The Pleasantest Thing
Subitising Fish Game // Fairy Poppins
Salt Water Experiment | Ocean Science for Kids // Science Kiddo
Diving Fish Science Experiment // Schooling a Monkey
Ocean Animal Count and Clip Cards // The Kindergarten Connection
Five Little Fishies Song and Counting Printables // Stay at Home Educator
Ocean I Spy Printable // Powerful Mothering
Color Matching Fish Puzzles // Modern Preschool
Ocean Sensory Bin // Play & Learn Everyday
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Yvonne Leialoha is an introverted night owl, and a perfectly imperfect mother of two. Along with with being way too over-excited about creating scenes and sensory play for the Tuff Spot, she loves playing with her food (and then photographing it for good measure). She has an incredible knack for adding new and creative ideas to an already infinitely long to-do list.